Tampa, FL – Lee Roy Selmon, the first-ever draft pick in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history, has passed away. He was 56.
The Tampa Tribune reported that Selmon died on Sunday, two days after being admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital following a massive stroke.
"Tampa Bay lost another giant. This is an incredibly somber day for Buccaneer fans, Sooner fans, and all football fans," read a statement issued by the Glazer family on Sunday evening. "Lee Roy's standing as the first Buc in the Hall of Fame surely distinguished him, but his stature off the field as a consummate gentleman put him in another stratosphere.
"Put simply, he was first class. He was the real deal. We are so blessed to have known this fine man and to have called him one of our own, yet so sad to have lost him so soon. Our hearts go out to the Selmon family at this time of their loss."
Selmon, taken first overall out of Oklahoma, played in 121 games (117 starts) for Tampa Bay from 1976 through the end of the 1984 season, helping the Buccaneers rise from expansion joke to division winners. The defensive end was named to six consecutive Pro Bowls and was rewarded with the NFL's defensive player of the year honor for 1979.
Selmon remains the Tampa Bay all-time leader in sacks with 78 1/2, and posted 742 total tackles. His No. 63 was retired by the franchise in 1986, and he was inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame in 1995.
According to the paper, a memorial service will take place in Tampa before burial back in his native Oklahoma.